School claims NESTA-SCMP competition on its first attempt, writes Wong Yat-hei
After eight hard-fought rounds, the champion of the 10th NESTA-SCMP Debating Competition was declared to be HKMA David Li Kwok Po College.
The schools debate at Baptist University's Shek Mun Campus in Sha Tin on Friday drew a crowd of more than 500.
The contest, jointly organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post, is sponsored by the Jockey Club.
Two schools debated on the motion 'Outsourcing is good for both developed and developing countries', with HKMA arguing in support and Stewards Pooi Kei College against.
HKMA suggested that outsourcing had increased productivity, while Stewards Pooi Kei argued that the increase in productivity was built on exploitation of slave labour from developing countries.
The third speaker for HKMA, Cherry Tung, rebutted Pooi Kei's assertion, saying that unreasonably low pay given to workers by companies from developed countries was the result of poor company ethics and had nothing to do with outsourcing.
Her insight into the problem secured the win for HKMA.
Students from both schools were excited about their schoolmates entering the finals of the competition. Each school had more than 40 students come to support their debating team.
When Barbara Robson, adjudicator of the debate, announced the results, students from HKMA roared with joy.
Robson said: 'I am so happy to see the development of each debater. They make progress every time I see them.'
Michael Evershed, another adjudicator, said: 'I am impressed with the clarity and structure of argument of both teams. Both showed that they were well coached and they did an incredible job with their researches. Another thing I liked about the teams was their ability to quote the source of their examples, which helped back up their points.'
It was a particularly pleasant surprise for HKMA to win the competition, as this was only the first time the school had participated in an open-debate competition. The school only set up its debating team last year.
Petunia Kingsley, coach of HKMA, said: 'I am very, very happy with the performance of our team. They did very well and we will definitely join the NESTA-SCMP Debating Competition next year.'
Vivek Manglani, second speaker for HKMA, said it was a total team effort. 'We spent the entire week before the debate practising our speeches. The ideas are very fresh in our head, which made us feel confident about ourselves.
'We delivered our points very clearly and did a fine job rebutting our opponents.'
Dennis Ng, from Pooi Kei, was named the competition's best speaker, despite their loss. 'I was really surprised to win the award,' he said. 'I felt that our team had tried our best and it was a great experience for us.'
Tung, HKMA's third speaker, who has won the best-speaker award three times in the competition, said she was not at all surprised that the award went to Dennis.
'He was exceptionally good with his delivery,' she said.
The winners of the debate received a cash prize of HK$4,000. Kingsley said their principal would decide how to use the money.
HK Jockey Club
|The NESTA-SCMP Debating Competition is sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club.|